Twitter teams with women's advocacy group to target online harassment

Twitter, women's advocacy group team up to fight online harassment

Twitter is teaming up with a women's advocacy group to fight female harassment on the popular social media platform.

The group, Women, Action and the Media, created a form for users to report instances of "gendered harassment." If the reports seem valid, WAM will use its clout as an "authorized reporter" to flag the requests, forwarding them to Twitter. 

Users will be able to report the specific types of abuse they are experiencing, including "whether someone has made an impostor account, is sending them violent threats, is using Twitter to encourage people to harass the person offline, or any of other several defined categories."

Twitter's move comes at a time when national conversation has shifted toward the harassment of women online. Discussions have been fueled by "GamerGate" -- an ongoing controversy that has included death threats, as well as threats of rape and violence, against women who are vocal about the perceived sexism in mainstream video games.

An October Pew study found 25% of young women online have been sexually harassed on the Internet and 26% have experienced stalking.

"The disproportionate targeting of women online results in them removing their voices from the public conversation," Jaclyn Friedman, the organization's executive director, said in a statement.

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